Millie Bright, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood, England Women v Spain
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England Women: The numbers behind the Lionesses’ run to the Euro 2022 semi-finals

| 23.07.2022

England Women Euro 2022: Numbers behind Lionesses’ success

England became the first team to reach the Euro 2022 semi-finals thanks to a thrilling extra-time win over Spain on Wednesday night and they are now 6/4 favourites to win the tournament.

Esther Gonzalez put the Spaniards ahead in the second half and it looked like the Lionesses were heading out with six minutes to go when Alessia Russo headed a cross into the path of fellow substitute Ella Toone to volley in the equaliser from close range.

Georgia Stanway’s long-range piledriver in extra time ensured a fourth successive semi-final appearance at a major tournament.

Here, we take a statistical look at the progress of the tournament hosts ahead of Tuesday’s semi-final against Sweden at Bramall Lane.

Never let up

Much has been made of England’s “ruthlessness”, with defender Millie Bright the latest to cite that trait after the 2-1 win over Spain.

Sarina Wiegman’s side are among the best in the tournament at converting their attacks into shots on goal, credited by UEFA’s official statistics with 185 attacks and 78 total attempts.

That 42.2 per cent rate ranks behind only Austria, with 45 from 96 for a tournament-high 46.9 per cent, Iceland (39 from 86), France (60 from 134) and, narrowly, Italy with 55 shots from 130 attacks (42.3 per cent). Among teams remaining in the tournament England trail only Les Bleues.

England have scored 16 goals – over 20 per cent of all their shots, or 19.2 per cent once Northern Ireland defender Kelsie Burrows’ own goal is excluded. That is clear of the next most clinical sides in the tournament, the Netherlands and Sweden, who both have eight goals from 44 shots (18.2 per cent) and have also both benefited from an own goal.

Bright and co have been similarly imposing at the other end, giving up just 86 attacks and 32 shots in six and a half hours of football. Gonzalez’s goal on Wednesday is the first they have conceded.

Walsh pulling the strings

Spain showed a clear strategy to shut down England’s midfield metronome Keira Walsh, and it is not hard to see why.

Walsh ranks fifth in the tournament in passing accuracy – with the players above her all being defenders and goalkeepers, who traditionally fare better in that category with simpler passes available.

Keira Walsh, England Women v Spain

France centre-back Griedge Mbock Bathy’s 99 per cent accuracy for France – 73 passes completed out of 74 attempted – is impressive regardless, with England keeper Mary Earps (93.3 per cent) narrowly ahead of Mbock Bathy’s team-mates Wendie Renard and Aissatou Tounkara.

Walsh rates at 92.3 per cent and has played far more passes than the four players ranked above her, completing 238 of 257 passes even after Spain’s attempts to nullify her, with Renard closest at 188 out of 201.

The Manchester City star has been credited by UEFA with a pair of assists, with her shot parried to Beth Mead for the winger’s third against Norway before her lay-off allowed Georgia Stanway to produce her stunning winner against Spain.

Sarina’s century

England’s two goals against Spain also took their tally to 100 in 18 games under Wiegman – 16 wins and two draws, with only four goals conceded.

That includes beating Latvia 20-0 and 10-0, North Macedonia 10-0 and 8-0 and Luxembourg 10-0 in World Cup qualifying and, most memorably, Norway 8-0 in the group stage of the Euros.

Mead has scored 19 goals, including five in the current tournament as she leads the Golden Boot standings. Ellen White has netted 13 to move within one of Wayne Rooney’s all-time England senior record of 53, while Ella Toone’s equaliser against Spain was her 11th goal of Wiegman’s reign.

Eighteen England players have scored under Wiegman while they have also benefited from five opposition own goals.

There have been nine hat-tricks along the way – Mead with four of those, while she, White, Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo all achieved the feat among the 20-goal haul against Latvia.

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Warren Barner